Paper Recovery Hits a New High

Paper recovery has increased virtually every year since 1990, and in 2015, it reached a record high of nearly 67%.

Recycling paper is a common activity, with bins in the majority of public facilities, offices, and homes, but do you ever wonder how far recycling can go? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that paper can be recycled anywhere from four to seven times before breaking down; which means, we can reuse a valuable resource and reduce dependence on forests.

Who uses all of this recovered paper? Domestically, the Paper and Container Board Industry uses 31 million tons of recovered paper; another 21 million tons is exported – with China as the leading importer of recovered paper. Recovered paper can have a new life as containerboard, the material used for corrugated boxes; newsprint; and even towel and tissue, or paper towels and toilet paper, to those not in the industry.

Great progress with recovered paper has been made in the past few decades; however, in an average year, 20 million tons of paper still ended up in landfills. We need to do what we can to further promote recyclability, recoverability, and responsible sourcing and production.

One way companies can contribute to the responsible use of paper is by efficiently managing their paper procurement programs. At Graphic Communications, we know paper – and we understand why “environmentally preferable” goes far beyond recyclability or recycled content. By streamlining and simplifying the paper procurement process, we help our customers ensure that their budgets are met, while satisfying their commitment to being environmental stewards.

Want to put our paper procurement expertise to work for your business? Let us know. We’ve been doing this since 1979, and we’re happy to use our expertise to help our customers outperform the competition.

Ralph O’Connor leads Environmental Affairs at Graphic Communications, a business of Veritiv. Graphic Communications is a leading paper and print supplier that provides a complete array of solutions to fit all your paper and print program needs. Our team of paper, environmental, postal and print experts can help our clients drive compliance to ensure their brand integrity, all while giving them their best total package solutions. Learn more at